You are on page 1of 1

6 theSun | MONDAY JULY 13 2009

news without borders

URUMQI (China): Soldiers main-

Urumqi tense one week

The government has not said if
tained firm control of China’s Urumqi anyone died in clashes after the initial
city yesterday, one week after unrest July 5 unrest.
between Muslim Uighurs and Han The People’s Square in central
Chinese left more than 180 people Urumqi that has been a magnet for
dead. protesters from both sides remained
An explosion yesterday morning closed yesterday, with riot police sur-

after deadly unrest

at a factory belonging to China’s big- rounding it.
gest energy producer on the outskirts Security forces – some armed with
of the city raised tensions but the batons and others with guns – have
company quickly said there was no also continued to patrol Urumqi’s
foul play involved. streets.
“We have ruled out terrorism,” Fear and distrust persists on both
said Liu Jiyuan, the vice manager of sides of the ethnic divide.
the China National Petroleum Corpo- “We are also scared. We don’t want
ration plant at the factory. to go to the train station or other areas
An earlier company statement said where there are a lot of Han,” said a
the fire had been quickly extinguished college-educated Uighur man who
and there were no casualties, and that did not want his named published.
“human causes” had been ruled as a “It’s going to be pretty tense for
reason for the blast. a while. I think you are going to see
It said the company was still in- people spending more time indoors
vestigating the exact reason for the watching TV.”
explosion. Residents in other cities and towns
Meanwhile, many businesses had across Xinjiang, a sparsely populated
re-opened in Urumqi, but the mood region of deserts and mountains that
among both Uighurs and Han, China’s makes up a sixth of China’s territory,
dominant ethnic group, remained one also reported intense security and a
of deep distrust. sense of trepidation yesterday.
“No, no, no. It’s still dangerous,” “There are more policemen
said a Han supermarket owner sur- patrolling the streets. The shops are
named Lin when asked if he would closing maybe one or two hours
venture into the Uighur district of the earlier than normal,” a Han Chinese
city of 2.3 million people. shopowner in Kashgar told AFP by
“I had friends who went there telephone.
yesterday who were threatened by Foreign reporters have been
Uighurs and they had to run out of banned from reporting in Kashgar,
there.” the famous Old Silk Road city, with
The government said 184 people authorities citing safety concerns.
died in Urumqi and more than 1,000 Kashgar has also seen deadly un-
others were injured when protests by rest in recent times, with two Uighur
Uighurs on July 5 turned violent. men killing 17 policemen in August
Xinjiang’s eight million Uighurs last year just ahead of the Olympics.
have long complained about repres- The Xinhua news agency reported
sive Chinese rule, grievances the police had quelled a protest by 200
government says are baseless. “rioters” outside the main Id Kah
Uighurs attacked Han Chinese Chinese paramilitary police patrol on a street in the Uighur district of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang region. mosque in Kashgar on Monday.
during the July 5 unrest and destroyed Exiled Uighur leader Rebiya
their shops, according to victims and countered that yesterday’s protests Han Chinese took to the streets of AFP witnessed Han Chinese mobs Kadeer has said security forces may
witnesses AFP spoke with here, as were peaceful until security forces Urumqi early in the week wielding assaulting two Uighurs in separate have killed many people in Kashgar
well as footage broadcast by China’s over-reacted with deadly force, and machetes, poles, chains and other attacks, and Uighurs alleged many over the past week, although Chinese
state-run television. that further deaths have occurred makeshift weapons vowing venge- other beatings took place, despite a officials have denied this via the state-
However, exiled Uighur leaders across all across Xinjiang since then. ance against the Uighurs. huge security presence. run media. – AFP

Ragtag rebels vow to fight on in Myanmar

THAILAND/MYANMAR BORDER: They prowl a decade, aid groups say. we can still carry on.” mobile and cause as many casualties as possible
their jungle battleground in sneakers and have to The offensive comes as Myanmar’s generals In video footage AFP received from the Demo- on the enemy,” Tharckabaw told AFP.
steal their weapons, but Myanmar’s ethnic Karen try to stamp out the last of the more than two cratic Voice of Burma, a multimedia agency run “That’s through ambushes ... what we call
rebels say they will never quit their struggle dozen ethnic uprisings that have riven the coun- by Myanmar expatriates that uses the country’s ‘battle of annihilation’,” he said.
against the junta. try since shortly after independence in time for former name, KNLA soldiers are seen fighting in The struggling fighters are often forced to carry
The ragtag Karen National Liberation Army elections due next year. rolled-up jeans and t-shirts. a week’s worth of food, he said, as they attempt
(KNLA) has been fighting Myanmar’s military Despite the overwhelming firepower against A small guerilla group rearms their rocket- to take advantage of their superior knowledge of
government for 60 years – marking the country’s them, the KNLA say they will not quit. propelled grenade launchers in the dense scrub the tough terrain.
eastern border as the stage for one of the world’s “We never give up,” said David Tharckabaw, – Tharckabaw said most these weapons are Some are based in their home villages while
longest running conflicts. a former soldier with the KNLA and now a leader stolen from government forces in raids because others are in camps for people internally dis-
But a renewed crackdown by government of the political wing, the Karen National Union the KNLA obtains only sparse funds from logging placed by the fighting, like one at Ler Per Her in
forces in early June caused 4,000 of the mainly (KNU), based in a secret location on the Thai- and by levying cross-border trade taxes. eastern Myanmar’s Karen state, where several
Christian Karen to flee to neighbouring Thailand, Myanmar border. “We are operating on a shoestring so we rely mortars fell last month as it became the focus of
the largest group of refugees to cross in more than “Yes, this is an asymmetric conflict, but overall heavily on guerilla tactics and we have to be the most recent offensive by the junta. – AFP

Aso’s job at risk underground by licking water

off the walls of their coal mine,
after Tokyo vote state media said yesterday. The
briefs TOKYO: Moves to oust
unpopular Japanese Prime
buried miners eventually caught
sight of a rescuer’s flashlight and
Minister Taro Aso are likely shouted, enabling searchers to
to intensify after media follow the sound to the pit where
Italian hostage projections showed his rul- they lay, CCTV said. The Xinqiao
freed in Philippines ing bloc lost its majority in mine, in southwestern China’s
MANILA: An Italian Red Cross a Tokyo assembly election Guizhou province, was flooded
official held hostage by Muslim yesterday seen as a bell- on June 17. At least one miner’s
rebels for nearly six months in wether for a national poll. body was found on June 25, but
southern Philippines was freed NHK TV said the opposi- 12 are still missing. – AFP
yesterday, saying the thought tion Democratic Party would
of seeing his family again become the biggest party
in the Tokyo assembly, and
Honduras caretaker
kept him alive throughout his
captivity. that Aso’s Liberal Democratic govt lifts curfew
Eugenio Vagni, 61, was Party (LDP) and its junior part- TEGUCIGALPA: The interim
abandoned by his captors at a ner had lost their majority in government in Honduras
remote village in Jolo island early the local legislature. announced yesterday it had
yesterday and was fetched by A Democratic Party vic- lifted the overnight curfew
soldiers and Nur-Ana Sahidulla, tory in the national poll, due imposed since June 28 when
vice governor of Sulu province by October, would end half a President Manuel Zelaya was
in the south Philippines, the century of nearly unbroken ousted in a military-backed
military said. rule by the LDP. – Reuters. coup. “By virtue of having
He was taken to an army reached the objectives of
base for a medical check up Miners safe after 25 this regulation, the govern-
ment announces that from
and later flown to an air base in
Zamboanga, where colleagues
days underground July 12, the curfew is lifted
from the Red Cross were wait- BEIJING: Three Chinese miners across the entire country,” it
ing for him. – Reuters survived for 25 days trapped said in a statement.– AFP